Adele and Stormzy’s close friendship has been widely documented for years. The Croydon rapper has made it clear how much he admires THE FACE’s cover star, posting photos of them together backstage at shows and even dedicating an entire surprise performance for Adele’s Titanic-themed 30th birthday in 2018. Sharing a snap on social media, he wrote: “Words will never be enough for this caption,” calling it “the best night of my entire life.”
Now, three years later, their bond is still going strong. Adele, who is due to release her fourth studio album, 30, on Friday, told journalist and author Candice Carty-Williams in her cover interview for THE FACE that she has “a real soft spot for him in my heart”.
Back in 2015, when Adele released 25, Stormzy went to Adele’s show at London’s The O2 arena. “Jonathan, my manager, came in when I was getting my makeup done in my dressing room,” Adele explains. “He came in and was like, ‘Stormzy’s here tonight.’ He knew that I would know who he was. He hadn’t blown up at this point. [That night] I dedicated Make You Feel My Love to him. I just thought it was such a funny juxtaposition, especially with him being in grime and stuff like that then me dedicating Make You Feel My Love, which is a Bob Dylan ballad.”
After Stormzy’s first album, Gang Signs & Prayers, was released in 2017, Adele said she went to Brixton Academy to watch him perform. Big For Your Boots, the album’s lead single, features the lyrics: “Nah man, you’re never too big to rebel /I was in the O2 singing my lungs out /Rudeboy, you’re never too big for Adele.”
“I don’t know how anyone knew I was there,” Adele tells Carty-Williams. “I was up on the balcony, he sat me next to his mum. When he was singing it, he came to the end of the stage and sang that line at me. It was so lovely.”
In her interview for THE FACE, Adele explains that she admires Stormzy for his vulnerability. “I love how open he’s been about his mental health the entire time and I don’t think many people were doing that when he first came out,” she says.
Stormzy also joined Adele and her friends on holiday in 2020. “He hadn’t been on holiday!” Adele says. “And I was like: ‘I’m gonna get you out of here. We need to get you away, you need to chill out.’ Then one of my really good friends here, April, who’s older than both me and him, she was just like: “There’s no one at our age that is like you.” Considering how much younger he is, he’s so open and keen to learn and be told things about life. I’m not even talking about music. I really, really love him. I really have a lot of time for him, very much.”
And who does she thank? Stormzy’s mother, of course. “His mum’s done a fucking wonderful job with him.”
HAIR Lucas Wilson at Home Agency MAKE-UP Yadim at Art Partner MANICURIST Kimmie Kyees at The Wallgroup TALENT’S STYLIST Jamie Mizrahi SET DESIGNER Nick Des Jardins at Streeters TAILOR Hasmik Kourinian PHOTOGRAPHER’S STUDIO ASSISTANT Luca Trevisani PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANTS Steve Yang and Jolson Diaz DIGITAL TECH Alex Woods STYLIST’S ASSISTANTS Marcus Cuffie, Lennon Gabriel, Niki Ravari and Jenny Wyman HAIR ASSISTANT Tania Becker MAKE-UP ASSISTANT Joseph Paul TALENT’S STYLIST’S ASSISTANT Analiese Kern SET DESIGN ASSISTANT Gautam Sahi PRODUCERS Helena Martel Seward and Chrissy Hampton PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS Griffith Snyder and Christian James